Design Change, Adjustments and Tuning Techniques
I planned this weaving out fairly well. I’m aware that my weaving will only resemble the chart that I constructed to follow and not be an exact picture of it. I like to know where I’m going with my projects and have as many of the details worked out before I even order supplies. I have found some challenges with this weaving. I’m not certain if I would prefer to have a weaving that I could weave in a completely mindless state or one that keeps me on my toes. Most likely it’s somewhere in between. I am half way through this weaving and I have enjoyed it so far. It has, however, not been without its challenges.
My first challenge came when I was warping it. I realized that for the first time; I went under a warping rod, rather than over it. It was early on and rather than unwind all that warp, I untied the beginning knot and re-warped it from the mistake to the beginning. After getting the warp mounted on the loom this resulted in one warp pair reversed. It took me about an hour to figure out what I had done and what I needed to do to fix it. Straighten it out and weave on. Next, weaving where the fell line is below my waist makes it very difficult to see what I’m doing. Not to mention difficult on hips that have seen better days, especially when you try to get up.
When I came to my third design/color change of the weaving, I noticed my warp count was off. It took me umpteen times counting warp pairs to realize that I warped one pair less than I intended. At first this seemed to be a critical mistake. How did this happen? I counted several times and was certain I had the correct warp count. I was wrong. One warp pair!!! If I had known this at the beginning, I could have taken one of the pairs off of one of the borders. It’s unlikely that anyone would notice, even me. But I had four inches completed, too late to do that. I can’t take one off each side, I have to take it off the center, dead center. My center motif is 1/4 inch less than it should be. Noticeable or not, there is no where else to take it. So far, it hasn’t suffered.
I really liked the sketch that I did for this weaving. On paper it looks nice to me, clean lines, not too busy, colors I like to look at. However, translated into a weaving, I quickly realize that that lovely expanse of brown, is simply too much brown. Three inches into the brown part of the central motif I can see that I need to add another design element. I added some diamonds with two possibilities and got some opinions. I was surprised how diverse the opinions were. I was no closer to choosing. It was suggested by two people whose weaving skills I admire that the weaving will speak to me. Speak to me it did, I wound up going a route that I was almost entirely certain I would not. I’m glad that I did.
Weft, and how much to add is always a touch and go situation. It’s very difficult to tell how much to lay in. I don’t want it pulling in, or bowing out or rippling from excess weft. It was very difficult when the weaving was low, but now that its at a decent eye level I can obsess over it. I’m working on finding the perfect amount of weft. It’s far from perfect, but I’m getting closer.
Then there are the challenges that we have no control over, the ones we can’t beat our selves up over. Warp knots!!!! I encountered 5 warp knots warping this weaving. I knew they were there, and consider them a reminder that in life we have bumps in the road that we have to pass over. So I tie a stronger knot below the mills knot to be certain of its strength and weave over it. Inconsistency in Weft yarn thickness. While I would not call this yarn a “thick and thin” yarn, it is thick, thin and just right. It’s like the Goldilocks and Three bears of yarn. This part is too thick, this part is too thin and this part is just right. This results in more hi-low spots in my weaving. As long as I’m diligent about filling in and breaking off pieces that are too far off the mark, this is not more than an inconvenience. It’s always a lesson and more moving forward, changing my focus and keeping it interesting. I can’t wait to see how this weaving will look on my wall.